Awards and Accolades

Awards and Accolades

By University Communications
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Kasey Urquidez

Kasey Urquidez, associate vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and dean of undergraduate admissions, was featured on the College Admission website, which serves as a resource for news, advice and commentary from experts in admissions. In a Q-and-A article, Urquidez discussed some highlights of the University's student population and shared her favorite aspects of working at the University. In her position, Urquidez handles multifaceted aspects of admissions from recruitment to notification and conversion activities associated with the undergraduate admission process. In 2009, she created the Next Steps Center to help students navigate enrollment and to facilitate the admission process. Urquidez is a UA graduate with a bachelor's in family and consumer sciences and a master's in teaching and teaching education. She also holds a master's degree from Chapman University in education and a doctoral degree in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University.

Hoshin Gupta

Hoshin Gupta, professor of hydrology and water resources, has been awarded the 2014 John Dalton Medal from the European Geosciences Union, the highest award the organization's hydrology division endows. Gupta will receive the award at the General Assembly in Vienna on April 27. Gupta teaches several courses at the UA and leads the Data Assimilation Group, an organization that investigates the application of mathematical models and merging data. Gupta received his bachelor's in civil engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology and his master's and doctorate in systems engineering from Case Western Reserve University. In 2006 and 2007, Gupta was selected by UA students to receive the Department of Hydrology and Water Resources' "Aquaman Award for Excellence in Teaching." In 2006, he was awarded the SRP Professorship in Technology, Public Policy, and Markets, which is funded by the Salt River Project.

Monica Kilcullen Pastor

Monica Kilcullen Pastor, a Cooperative Extension area associate agent for agricultural literacy and school garden food safety, has been recognized as the Western Region winner of the Agriculture Awareness and Appreciation Award, presented by the National Association of County Agricultural Agents. The award was presented for Pastor's involvement in the statewide Agricultural Literacy program, which educates teachers, students and the general public about Arizona's agriculture industry. Pastor works in the Maricopa County office of Cooperative Extension, which is part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. In her position, she leads and coordinates Maricopa County programs and works to increase the extension program's presence in the county. Pastor received her bachelor's degree in agricultural economics at the UA and a master's in science in education from Arizona State University.

Heidi Harley

Heidi Harley, professor of linguistics, has been elected to join the Executive Committee of the Linguistic Society of America. Harley will serve a three-year term, beginning in January. The Executive Committee serves as the principal governing board for the Linguistic Society of America, the largest national organization devoted to advancing the scientific study of language. The organization was founded in 1924 and seeks to distribute linguistic scholarship to professional linguists and the public. Harley earned her doctorate in linguistics and philosophy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has served as chair of the Linguistic Society of America's Program Committee and associate editor of Language, the society’s quarterly journal. Harley has authored three books and had several papers published on formal syntactic theory, morphology and lexical semantics. She also has done extensive work to document Hiaki, which is an endangered Uto-Aztecan language spoken in southern Arizona and Sonora, Mexico.

Muniram Budhu

Hong Lei

The UA Asian American Faculty, Staff and Alumni Association has announced its 2013 Outstanding Faculty and Staff Awards recipients. These awards recognize UA employees who demonstrate the highest levels of excellence, diversity, service and talent in their professional accomplishments. Faculty members who were honored are Muniram Budhu, professor of civil engineering, and ​Pak Wong, associate professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering.

Pak Wong


Noelle Sallaz


Noelle Sallaz, program director of international student development for International Student Services, was selected as the Outstanding Staff Member. Hong Lei, associate research scientist for the Department of Neuroscience, received the Outstanding Community Service Award. The nominees were honored at AAFSAA's 24th annual scholarship and award dinner at the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center on Nov. 2.

We want to know about your good news. If you, your department or a colleague have won any major awards, been honored nationally or internationally, or accomplished some other major feat that deserves recognition, let us know about it.

To submit your news, please send us an email with the following information:

  • Name of the person or team receiving the honor.
  • Name of the organization granting the honor.
  • A description of the honor.
  • When the honor was announced and when it will be presented (or was presented).
  • A photo of the honoree. If others appear in the photo, please provide their names and affiliations.

Questions? Please contact Amanda Ballard at 626-4407 or

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